1828 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir Kenelm Digby

Edward Smedley to H. Hawkins, 26 April 1828; Poems of the late Rev. Edward Smedley (1837) 308.



Of the books which I mentioned in my last letter, let me tell you that Sir Kenelm Digby's Memoirs are naught. I am egregiously disappointed, for I looked for much marvellous and mystical gravity about the elixir, sympathetic powder, geomancy, and horoscopes; but, alas! they relate only to very puling, and not very decorous love adventures, told under feigned names (like those of Sir Philip Sidney's Arcadia) in a most watery and bubbling style. I had the curiosity to look at the MS. from which they are printed, still preserved in the British Museum, and the grossness of the passages which the editor has been compelled to omit is quite astounding.